Ex-Industrial Court Judge Elijah Legwaila has been recalled from retirement to come and man the country’s highest court.
The Registrar and Master of the High court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, who is also secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), confirmed the recall.
Nthomiwa told the Sunday Standard that President Ian Khama has appointed Legwaila to the position of Justice of the Appeals Court.
“He has been appointed on a three-year contract and will start work in this coming court of Appeal session,” said Nthomiwa.
Legwaila’s post was not advertised. However, Nthomiwa says there is nothing unusual because posts for the Appeals Court are normally not advertised. He says the JSC normally sits and makes recommendations.
“The name of the identified candidate is tabled before the commission for consideration before it can make a recommendation,” he said.
Nevertheless, Nthomiwa could not disclose who had tabled Legwaila’s name. The JSC, among others, is made up of Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo, Judge President of the Appeals Court Ian Kirby, Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme and lawyer Tebogo Sebego.
Legwaila, who is aged 72, quit the Industrial Court bench last year after five public sector unions threatened to drag him to court over allegations of an ‘illegal’ contract renewal.
Legwaila has had an illustrious career within the Public service, serving in various capacities. He joined the Industrial Court in 1999 when he retired from the Civil Service. Upon his retirement, he immediately replaced the late judge Dawie de Villiers as Judge President of the Industrial Court although De Villiers had founded the court. After over 10 years as Judge of the Industrial Court, Legwaila made an exit in October last year.